Windfall tax for major companies to be introduced in Russia

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Daily Monitoring of the Legislation

Monitoring of the Federal Legislation dated 9.07.2003

Posokhov against the Russian Federation (Appeal No. 63486/00). Ruling of the European Human Rights Court of March 4, 2003

The applicant, Sergey Vitalyevich Posokhov, citizen of the Russian Federation, worked as an officer of the Taganrog customs terminal. In 1996, the applicant and some other persons were sued for smuggling. In May 2000, Posokhov was found guilty of helping to avoid customs payments and of abuse of the service position and, after the sentence, was released from punishment partly because of the time limit and partly because of the amnesty.
Posokhov's appeal to the European Court of Human Rights challenged the composition of the court having adopted the sentence. While appealing in the Russian courts, Posokhov indicated the violation of the provisions of the Federal Law on the people's assessors of the federal courts of general jurisdiction in the Russian Federation, namely, the violation of the procedure of selection of people's assessors, expired term of service of some of them.
The European Court ruled in favour of the applicant having acknowledged violation of Item 1 of Article 6 of the Human Rights Convention with the Russian authorities stating that "in the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law". The European Court emphasised that the word combination "established by law" qualifies not only the legal grounds of the existence of the court itself but also the composition of the court in each case.
The European Court has obliged Russia to pay out to the applicant within three months from the day of entry into force of the ruling EUR 500 (five hundred) (in Russian roubles at the rate as of the day of payment) in compensation of the moral damage.

Federal Law No. 125-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the State Regulation of Tariff Rates for Electric and Thermal Power in the Russian Federation

Provides the new wording for the definition of the "federal (all-Russia) wholesale market of electric power" implying the sphere of distribution of the special commodity - electric power in the framework of the Uniform Power Supply System of Russia within the uniform economic environment of the Russian Federation involving large producers and large buyers of electric power having acquired the status of the subjects of the wholesale market and operating on the basis of the rules of the wholesale market.
The Law adjusts the authority of the federal and regional bodies of executive power in the sphere of state regulation of tariff rates. Defines the procedure of solving of disputes in the sphere of state regulation of tariff rates for electric and thermal power.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 124-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to Article 35 of the Law of the Russian Federation on the Customs Tariff

Introduces customs exemptions from customs duties for commodities (equipment, including component and spare parts for it), in compliance with the list endorsed by the Government of the Russian Federation, imported under contracts opened for financing until August 1, 1998 inclusive at the expense of the tied credits of the governments of foreign states, banks and companies attracted under the guarantees of the Government of the Russian Federation.
Also specifies that there are exemptions for the customs duties accrued for the import of commodities to the Russian Federation, as well as for the fines and penalties accrued because of the failure to pay customs duties as of the moment of entry into force of the Federal Law. The earlier paid duties, penalties and fines are not returned.
The Federal Law is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 123-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to Individual Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Pertaining to the Financing of the General Educational Institutions

The Law delimits the authority of the Russian Federation, subjects of the Russian Federation and the bodies of local government in the sphere of state guarantees for the free secondary education for the citizens, as well as refines the procedure of financing of the state and municipal general educational institutions.
Thus the sphere of reference of the subjects of the Russian Federation includes financial support of state guarantees of the rights of citizens to get publicly available and free secondary education in municipal general educational institutions by allocating subventions to the local budgets in the amount necessary to implement the state standard of the general education including the labour remuneration to the employees of municipal general educational institution, expenses to purchase teaching aids, technical means of teaching, consumables and for household needs (except for the communal services).
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 121-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the Federal Budget for the Year 2003

The following amendments are envisaged:
- financing of anti-terrorist measures;
- compensations to citizens having lost their housing and property because of the crisis in the Chechen Republic;
- financing of automatic processing of materials of the all-Russia population census of 2002;
- change (prolongation) of the time of correction of the limits of budget obligations.
To render financial aid to the subjects of the Russian Federation to prepare the housing and communal facilities for work in the autumn and winter period of 2003-2004, including the repair of the heat supply systems, engineering networks and equipment, it is envisaged to allocate in 2003 the resources to the budgets of the subjects of the Russian Federation on the pay back basis in the amount of Rbl 5,500 million.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 120-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to Articles 4 and 79 of the Federal Law on the Acts of Civil Status

The bodies of local governments of municipal formations that do not have civil registration offices on their territory may be empowered with the authority of the state registration of the acts of civil status, including the bodies of local government of rural settlements - for the state registration of birth, marriage, divorce, paternity, death.
The Law lists the conditions permitting to recognise as valid the state registration of the acts of civil status carried out by the bodies of local government before the entry into force of the appropriate laws of the subjects of the Russian Federation, however, no later than December 1, 2003.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 118-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the Obligatory Social Insurance against Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases

Corrects the types of payment for the additional expenses pertaining to medical, social, professional rehabilitation of the insured in cases of direct consequences of the insured occurrence. In particular, the insurer shall pay for the purchase of medicines, items of medical destination and personal care, external care services for the insured, as well as the travel to the place of treatment and back.
If the insurant delays the paying out of the temporary disability allowances assigned because of the insured occurrence for more than one calendar month, the mentioned payments shall be made by the insurer to the application of the insured.
The insurer may participate in the certification, re-certification of the insured in the institution of the medical and social expert evaluation. The Law fixes the duty of the bodies in charge of the registration of the acts of civil status to report to the insurer information on the death of the insured.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 117-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to Part 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and Some of the Other Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation, As Well As on Invalidation of Some of the Legislative Acts (Provisions of the Legislative Acts) of the Russian Federation

The amendments envisage reduction of the value added tax rate from 20% to 18% and the indexing of excise duty taxes. Abandons excises from the hydrocarbon raw materials and increases the rates of the tax on extraction of the mineral resources for the hydrocarbon raw materials.
The rates of the land tax of 2003, except for the land tax on agricultural lands, shall apply in 2004 with the factor 1.1. The Law also introduces a number of technical changes to Part 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation pertaining to the abolishment of the sales tax from January 1, 2004.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004, however, no sooner than one month after the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 113-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the Circulation of Lands of Agricultural Destination

Refines the notion of "close relatives" including the spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandfather, grandmother and grandchildren.
The requirements of the Law on the minimum amount of the land plot do not apply now to the cases of separation of the land plot as a share (shares) in the common property right for the land plot for the purposes of arranging of a personal auxiliary outlet or peasant (farmer's ) activities if their main type of activities is gardening, flower growing, viticulture, seed growing, poultry breeding, apiculture, fishing or other activities of making agricultural produce according to a technology permitting the use of the smaller size land plots. The restriction of the minimum amount of the land plot preserves for the newly created land plots.
Refines the procedure of privatisation of the land plots. Agricultural lands provided to agricultural organisations for permanent (unlimited) use may be granted to the citizens as common property free in cases envisaged in the laws of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The list of the categories of citizens entitled for a share of land and the procedure of determination of the size of the land plot is specified by the law of the subject of the Russian Federation. Privatisation of the land plots from the lands of agricultural destination shall be permitted from January 1, 2004.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 112-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Auxiliary Personal Outlet

The sale by citizens keeping personal auxiliary outlets of agricultural produce made and processed while keeping the personal auxiliary outlet shall not be regarded as entrepreneurial activities.
The citizens may engage in the keeping of the personal auxiliary outlet from the moment of the state registration of the rights for the land plot. Registration of the personal auxiliary outlet is not required.
Personal auxiliary outlets are subject to the state support measures envisaged in the legislation of the Russian Federation for agricultural producers. The present norm is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Citizens keeping personal auxiliary outlets may engage on the voluntary basis in the legal relations in obligatory pension insurance in compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 111-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the Fundamentals of the System of Prevention of Juvenile Dereliction and Delinquency and Other Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

Expands the range of the rights of the underage living in institutions of the system of prevention of juvenile dereliction and delinquency and appropriate duties of the administration of these institutions, in particular, institutes their duty to inform the parents or legal representatives of the arrival of the underage in the appropriate institution within 12 hours from the moment of arrival if information of their place of living or stay is available. The administration of the institution of the system of prevention of juvenile dereliction and delinquency is empowered with the duty to ensure observation of the rights of the underage. The Law specifies an exhaustive list of punishments applied to the underage living in these institution, as well as the reasons of such punishments. Physical and psychic violence is prohibited.
The Law envisages judicial procedures of examination of materials of the fact of placing of the underage in the temporary detention centres for the juvenile delinquents.
Appropriate changes are introduced in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation and the Law on the militia. Thus, Article 92 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation refines the judicial nature of the fact of placing of the underage in the special closed-type educational institution: this measure is qualified as a forced educational intervention for the underage. Such measure may apply only when an underage is sentenced to imprisonment.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 109-FZ of July 7, 2003 on the Invalidation of Some of the Legislative Acts Pursuant to the Adoption of the Federal Laws on the State Pension Support in the Russian Federation and on the Labour Pensions in the Russian Federation

Federal Laws No. 166-FZ of December 15, 2001 on the state pension support in the Russian Federation and No. 173-FZ of December 17, 2001 on the labour pensions in the Russian Federation were entered into force from January 1, 2002. This invalidated some of the legislative acts of the Russian Federation that may not apply from January 1, 2002, since the terms and norms of pension support envisaged in them are in violation of the new federal laws on pensions.
Thus, a number of Decisions of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation and Federal Laws regulating the issues of increase of the minimum amount of the pensions, indexing and recalculation of the state pensions must be abandoned. This is because the new Federal Laws on pensions do not have the notion of the minimum amount of the pension, with the labour pension consisting of the basic and the insured parts being indexed according to the new procedure.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 405 of July 4, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Rules (Standards) of Audit Activities

The federal rules (standards) of audit activities are extended to include new Sections 7 "Internal Control of the Audit Quality", 8 "Assessment of Audit Risks and Internal Control Carried out by the Audited Entity", 9 "Affiliated Entities", 10 "Events after the Reporting Date" and 11 "Permitted Uninterrupted Activities of the Audited Entity".
Added sections specify uniform requirements to the understanding of the system of accounting work and internal control, as well as the audit risks and its components and also the uniform requirements to the revealing and investigation, during audit activities, of economic operations with economic subject being affiliated entities of the audited entity.
The Decision also defines the requirements to the actions of the auditor in revealing and assessment of events occurring after the reporting date, i.e. events occurring from the moment of the end of the reporting period to the date of signing of the audit statement, as well as the facts revealed after the date of signing of the audit statement.
Besides, the Decision specifies uniform requirements to the actions of the auditor in the checking of the legality of application by the audited entity of the permission to continue uninterrupted activities when drawing up financial (accounting) reports, including the examination of the assessment of the ability of the mentioned entity to continue its activities without interruption presented by the management of the audited entity.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 403 of July 4, 2003 on the Amendments to the Decision of the Council of Ministers - the Government of the Russian Federation No. 793 of August 12, 1993

The amendments are introduced in the Regulation on the duties for the patenting of inventions, useful models, industrial prototypes, registration of trade-marks, service-marks, names of the places of origin of commodities, granting of the right of use of the names of the places of origin of the commodities and the Regulation on the registration fees for the official registration of computer programs, databases, and layouts of integrated circuits. The Decision changes the amounts of the fixed duties and registration fees.
The payment of the duties and registration fees with the amount having not been determined earlier is effected within 2 months from the date of receiving of the notification of the need to pay them. Applications, objections and requests with the duty unpaid within 2 months are not accepted for examination.
The Decision is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 400 of July 4, 2003 on the Amount of the Labour Remuneration to the Lawyer Participating As Defence in a Criminal Case When Appointed by the Bodies of Investigation, Prosecutor or Court

Amount of labour remuneration of the lawyer per day of participation is fixed to at least one forth of the minimum amount of labour remuneration and not greater than one minimum amount of labour remuneration depending on the case complexity defined as amenability, number and degree of imputed crimes, number of suspects, accused, volume of materials of the case and other circumstances.
The paying out of the labour remuneration of the lawyer is effected to his application on the basis of the decision (ruling) of the body of investigation, prosecutor or court. In cases of prolonged participation of the lawyer as defence, the decision (ruling) on the labour remuneration is issued on the monthly basis.

Information of the Central Bank of Russia of July 9, 2003

The Bank of Russia, in compliance with the authority provided under the Federal Law No. 116-FZ of July 7, 2003, specifies that obligatory sale applies to 25% of the currency receipts from the export of commodities (works, services, results of intellectual activities).

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